Written by: Vitina Molgaard
“Magical, lyrical, princess of light
Guide my way through this starless night.
Moon in your hair and fire in your eyes
Make me worthy to claim your prize.
Forest nymph, my forest queen.
Shining lady of the unseen.”
‘A Song for Erin’ by Jason Moncrief
We start this story with the discovery of a horrifying crime. There is no waste of time as we are acquainted with the victim of what appears to be a crime rooted in the Satanic. The police are called to the scene and we meet the detectives assigned to the case. Not long after the investigation ensues an arrest of what appears to be the ideal perpetrator is made. This is a short lived victory for our officers when the lead cop finds his case turned upside down through the introduction of a witch. This woman that lives in nearby Salem actively inserts herself into the center of everything. She has visions that – after sharing them – leaves a question mark as to whether or not the man in custody, or something much more powerful and demonic is the actual force involved with the killing. The situation escalates as our lead detective finds himself caught up in what the witch is revealing to him and the strong attraction he is developing towards her. Nothing remains black and white as the search for the truth becomes more entwined with bizarre occurrences.
Our homicide detectives consist of a cynical man named Carl Landauer who has many years on the force and the up and coming Adam Garrett, a prospective star in the Boston police department. These partners balance each other out on and off the job. Garrett is our officer who finds himself entangled with the beautiful and mysterious Tanith Cabarrus, the practicing witch that brings the supernatural aspect to this case. We meet Jason Moncrief, who may or may not be a psychotic killer. There are a number of characters within these pages that play an integral but really demand no introduction here. That being said we have one that must be brought to our attention before moving forward…Choronzon; The who, what and why of his existence are something you as the reader need to discover.
Alexandra Sokoloff has crafted a novel that contains horror through the use of some gore but it is not the main focus of attention within this journey. It is ambiguously unclear throughout the tale until the end, just how much of the evil being done here is demonic and how much is human depravity. There is no doubt that this is her intention and she carries it out to the end. Her characters and their behavior kept me interested until the finale. I would be remiss if mention was not made here that while the horror aspect is a part of this book, this novel fits more comfortably into the thriller or mystery category. So if you are interested in blood, gore and the likes of such then this is not likely something you would seek out. I personally like stories that have characters with context while causing me discomfort about what else lies ahead within the pages.
My final thoughts here…Would I recommend this book to you? Yes, it is a well written work. Did I find it terrifying? No, but with that being said I believe I have already clarified why. It is well worth investing your time.
Order Book of Shadows here.